[Coral-List] Majuro coral reef mining scandal via FAA

Todd Barber reefball at reefball.com
Mon Feb 20 21:21:57 EST 2012

Hi Monika,

Well, I prefer to believe that people inside are really good....they
just sometimes get caught up in stuff so deeply they forget to step
back and look at things from another perspective...(even I have been
guilty of that at times).

Many folks in government don't get all their emails (either because
they are being screened or because the volume is high, perhaps other
valid or invalid reasons too).  So I will give Ron the benefit of the
doubt for now, BUT I wonder

.....I have found a simple way to resolve any ethical issue....hope Ron
takes the same test....my Grandfather taught me this and it has served
me well.....

He said, "If ever in your life you doubt a choice....just seek out
some kindergarten or young school aged kids....explain the problem as
best you can and they will tell you what is right and what is wrong"

To the school kids of the world I ask....

Is destroying a coral reef on public land in the United States without
any type of effort to save that reef or even an attempt minimize or
avoid the damage for any non-wartime purpose a good thing?

Does the local government of Majuro have the right to allow the
destruction of a resource that publicly belongs to all US Citizens
because it serves their own best interest?

Can a Federal Agency circumvent all normal US laws and standards when
operating in parts of the US that do not have formal protection
afforded to US states?

If the Federal Government (in this case FAA) must "take" land or a
resource from the public or private interest using the principal of
eminent domain don't they have to pay either the private interest or
the public trust an equatable amount for that seizure?


Todd R Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation

941-484-7482 (Direct)
941-720-7549 (Cell & Goggle Voice)
toddbarber Skype

www,reefball.org (Reef Ball Foundation)
www.artificialreefs.org (Designed Artificial Reefs)
www.reefbeach.com (Reefs for Beach Erosion)
www.eternalreefs.com (Memorial Reefs)
www.reefball.com (Reef Ball Foundation)

On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 6:19 AM, Monika Franck <monikafranck at email.com> wrote:
> Typical thing is Todd, the FAA (Mr Ron Simpson) will probably not answer
> anybody as the US and Majuro island government has given the FAA go ahead to
> grind up that prospering coral reef, so Simpson clearly doesn't care what
> other stakeholders have to say.   Money talks, so bull...t walks.
> Or perhaps Mr Simpson of the FAA's email inbox is so full with protests to
> the FAA's disturbing EIA behaviour on this Majuro project, that his email
> has ground to a halt.
> May the Coral Reef Task Force at least hopefully be with Dr Dean Jacobson
> during their meeting.
> Thanks
> Monika
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Todd Barber
> Sent: 02/17/12 04:38 PM
> To: Monika Franck
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Majuro coral reef mining scandal via FAA
> I hope you get a response Monika....Ron never bothered to answer my email..
> Thanks,
> Todd R Barber
> Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
> 609 PORTIA N ST, NOKOMIS, FL 34275
> 941-484-7482 (Direct)
> 941-720-7549 (Cell & Goggle Voice)
> toddbarber Skype
> www,reefball.org (Reef Ball Foundation)
> www.artificialreefs.org (Designed Artificial Reefs)
> www.reefbeach.com (Reefs for Beach Erosion)
> www.eternalreefs.com (Memorial Reefs)
> www.reefball.com (Reef Ball Foundation)
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 9:40 AM, Monika Franck <monikafranck at email.com>
> wrote:
>> Dear Ron Simpson
>> Regarding Karl Fellenius's email to you attached below after mine, kindly
>>  respond to the following:
>>  According to U.S. Executive Order 13089 on Coral Reef Protection, the FAA
>>  (Federal Aviation Administrtion) is not practicing professional EIA
>>  principles, by dismissing Dr Dean Jacobson's appeal against unnecessary
>> destruction
>>  of flourishing coral reef on Majuro island/atoll.
>>  One can hardly call this behaviour by the FAA and PII (Pacific
>>  International Inc.) as  /"implementing strategy and action to promote
>> conservation and
>>  sustainable use of coral reef resources"/ which is what they should be
>>  practicing according to EO13089.
>>  Alarming to hear how that the FAA is turning a blind eye to application
>> of
>>  correct EIA principles on Majuro. Unnecessary coral destruction because a
>>  fire station and runway extension can be put elsewhere on land, but a
>> coral
>>  reef is gone forever with its life giving services to us, as it can only
>> grow
>>  in a specific place with the right temperature, PH, clean water, light
>> level
>>  etc, and it takes years to grow into a mature coral reef and acquire the
>>  capacity to support all coral reef life.
>> Distubring also to hear that people (including Dr Jacobson) have been
>>  threatened by PII with losing their jobs, and one person lost their job
>> for
>>  standing in the way of this coral reef destruction on Majuro. This
>> behaviour
>>  suggests we are no better than the first cave people, and that we have
>> not really
>>  evolved much further than some other animals on this planet.
>>  Majuro island gov, PII and FAA acting like this against Dr Dean Jacobson,
>>  leaves no hope or point in finding solutions to other global issues and
>>  dangers to us like climate change (ocean acidification and earth's
>> temperature
>>  rises). If authorities and governments cannot even uphold and enforce
>> their
>>  own executive orders and principles consistently, and prevent unnecessary
>>  coral reef destruction on a case by case basis, how will they ever cope
>> or help
>>  and be trusted with global scale environmental issues such us climate
>>  change??
>>  I ask you Ron Simpson, as someone who cares about what kind of ethics and
>>  quality of life and planet we are leaving being for our children, that
>> you
>>  please do the job you were given in the FAA, and enforce the right thing
>>  (correct EIA application), and assist proper public stakeholder input by
>> Dr Dean
>>  Jacobson, who is constantly being bullied and his appeals dismissed while
>>  the FAA conveniently looks away so that a greedy corporation and
>> short-sighted
>>  government can have its way on Majuro and destroy more coral reef.
>>  No surprise then that the U.S. has a reputation as a hypocrite nation
>> with
>>  double standards, who lack applying and enforcing correct EIA principles
>>  consistently, judging by cases like this Majuro coral reef destruction by
>>  mining being ignored and dismissed by the FAA as per Karl Fellenius's
>> email below
>>  and previous email by Dean Jacobson.
>>  It would be appropriate EIA practice to have some feedback from you
>>  personally Mr Simpson, as to why the FAA has allowed lack of EIA, and is
>> using tax
>>  payer's money to allow coral reef distruction to carry on in Majuro
>> without
>>  doing much about Dr Dean Jacobson's appeals to stop coral reef
>> destruction
>>  in Majuro, or apply adequate mitigation and relocation at least?
>>  More detail: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jun2011/2011-06-22-03.html
>>  I look forward to your update soon Mr Simpson
>>  Monika
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Karl Fellenius
>> Sent: 02/09/12 06:07 PM
>> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] alternative - Majuro barge mining
>>  orig. sent from unsubscribed coral list address, so I am re-sending the
>>  post to the list. From: Karl B Fellenius Sent: Wednesday, February 08,
>> 2012
>>  12:02 PM To: Ron.V.Simpson at FAA.gov Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> Subject:
>>  alternative - Majuro barge mining Mr. Simpson, I am fully aware of what
>> is
>>  going on in Majuro with regards to the coral mining from shore at the
>>  airport. My reason for writing to you is to add a perspective from a
>> different
>>  region of the Pacific with somewhat similar issues as the RMI. I used to
>> work as
>>  a marine science lecturer and fisheries survey diver in Majuro about 7
>>  years ago. Dr. Dean Jacobson was my colleague. I respect his opinions
>> immensely.
>>  Since then I live in Port Vila, Vanuatu. My work is doing EIAs as an
>>  independent consultant on shoreline development projects. Marine life
>> surveys and
>>  operational recommendations essentially. To complement the good work done
>> by
>>  Fisheries and Environment. Proposed dredging operations using excavators
>>  fro!
>>  m the shore have been redirected i
>> n favour of offshore barges. It works, and it might even become common
>>  practice someday. Here in Vanuatu though, we are fortunate to have coral
>>  aggregate available in land-based quarries. Even so, there has been much
>> evolution
>>  in recent years about how to mitigate reclamation impacts from using such
>>  materials. Or rather, how to effectively minimise sedimentation and
>> nutrient
>>  loading. EIAs were done here for the US funded MCA ring road around
>> Efate. In
>>  the media it was written up that we were so fortunate to have US
>> influence
>>  here on such a mega project so that EIAs could be brought up to a
>> responsible
>>  international standard. I must say, that I am extremely disappointed to
>>  understand that such US efforts are piecemeal, and selective. If it were
>> across
>>  the board for US projects in the Pacific, the FAA approved LIVE coral
>>  mining in Majuro would not be happening, would it? Here in Vanuatu there
>> are
>>  times when Fisheries and Environment approve development in proximity to
>> some
>>  cor!
>>  al. It happens. But in those cases
>>  the coral cover is low (less than 10%), the type of coral is common, and
>>  the shoreline protection offered by the few coral bommies is minimal. And
>>  efforts are made at relocation and transplantation. And development work
>>  (almost!) always takes place with a fine silt curtain under low tide and
>> calm
>>  conditions. I'm not saying its always the best solution, but we have
>> guidelines.
>>  Even China tries to adhere to them here on their many 'aid' projects
>>  (Vanuatu does not recognize ROC). China more environmentally responsible
>> than the
>>  US? Who would have thought? That comment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I
>> don't
>>  mean to belittle the US environment record in its entirety. Most
>> certainly,
>>  Vanuatu would NEVER allow direct LIVE coral mining, let alone in an area
>>  with close to 100% cover as the Majuro reef in question. In my years here
>> I
>>  always spoke of the Marshalls as being comparably very forward in terms
>> of its
>>  coastal resource management. Largely I attributed this to the US presence
>>  (n!
>>  uclear issues aside), and RMIs ear
>> ly success with marine protected areas and decision-making in working
>>  groups. And lately with its shark sanctuary. So why this backward step? I
>> know the
>>  reef Dr. Jacobson is talking about. The reef is very important for all
>> the
>>  reasons he has already mentioned. It should not be mined. But it won't
>> stop
>>  there. The impacts of allowing this live coral mining will reverberate
>>  throughout the Pacific. Already the news has reached Port Vila. Key
>> people here
>>  have asked me why we go to such lengths here to limit sedimentation on
>>  already degraded reefs around the capital when the US allows destruction
>> of
>>  healthy reefs in former territories? They know the answer of course.
>> Politics and
>>  money and vested interests. But the real damage Mr. Simpson, is
>> incremental
>>  wearing down of the motivation of middle and lower managers and field
>>  compliance officers, when they learn about the inability of the 'big
>> boys' (NOAA,
>>  FAA) to do the right thing. Motivation gets replaced by apathy. You are
>>  poten!
>>  tially affecting further afield th
>> an you realise. And don't worry about Jerry Kramer and PII. They've known
>>  for years that barge mining regulation was likely. They are just getting
>> what
>>  they can from shore before it happens. NOW is the time to implement the
>>  change, before this project demoralises everyone who understands the
>> damage its
>>  continuation will do to the maintenance of any decent standard for coral
>>  mining in the tropical and subtropical Pacific. Thanks for your time.
>> Rgds, --
>>  Karl Fellenius, MRM karl at fellenius.net 678.7773321 PO Box 3183 Port Vila,
>>  Vanuatu _______________________________________________ Coral-List
>> mailing
>>  list Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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